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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

What would a Kerry or Bush victory really mean? 

Andrew Sullivan says this, and I think he's on to something:
BY THE WAY: I wonder if either candidate has pondered the benefits of actually losing this election? If Kerry wins, you can see how the Republicans would then blame all the inevitable mess in Iraq on his vacillation (even if he doesn't budge an inch), and marshall a Tet offensive argument that implies that if only Washington hadn't given up, the Blessed Leader would have seen the war to victory. Kerry wouldn't be able to win, whatever he does. And because he'd be more fiscally responsible than Bush (could anyone be less fiscally responsible?) he wouldn't have much in the way of domestic goodies to keep his base happy. But if Bush wins and heads into a real, live second Vietnam in Iraq, his party will split, the country will become even more bitterly polarized than now (especially if he's re-elected because he's not Kerry) and he'll become another end-of-career Lyndon Johnson. The presidency of the U.S. is never an easy job. But it could be a brutal one these next four years. Which sane person would want the job?
I think his prediction of a Kerry victory is right: The VRWC will be all over him worse than Clinton. And, while I'd like to think the press learned their lessons about trusting the GOP spin after Clinton, I'm not sure they did (witness Swiftvets). Therefore, a terribly combative political culture is probably what Kerry will be delaing with. As for a Bush victory splitting the GOP, lots of moderates have thought this would happen, and it hasn't yet. And while I do think the DC-based elite GOP might split, I don't see the rank-and-file GOP base doing anything but supporting Bush.

Also, while a purge of the radical elements of the GOP would be good for the country, that good is still outweighed by the bad of a 2nd Bush Administration. No more Roe v. Wade, more fiscal insolvency, more secrecy in the executive branch, more cronyism, more go-nowhere macroeconomic policy, etc. We need to stop the bleeding now, even if it would mean a one-term Kerry presidency.
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